For Session Guitarist Todd Lombardo, Antelope Audio's Zen Tour and Orion Studio Interfaces are Milestone Products that Inspire
Antelope's Built-In FPGA-Based Vintage Product Emulations, Present on Zen Tour, Orion Studio and Goliath, Make Traditional Guitar Plug-Ins a Thing of the Past
Session guitarist and GRAMMY nominated songwriter Todd Lombardo has been on a career high, having just relocated to Nashville and playing on many current, new projects. In addition to contributing his signature guitar work to the latest Lady Antebellum and David Nail records, he has also played an integral role in the Music Bed licensing site, for which he is a resident composer. As an artist with many concurrent projects, Lombardo’s sounds are limited only to his imagination — therefore he needs a vast sonic toolkit. Recently, following a visit to Antelope Audio’s booth at Summer NAMM in Nashville, he added the new Zen Tour and Orion Studio to his equipment arsenal.
With its proprietary FPGA effects engine and dozens of authentic sounding FX and amplifier simulations (also present in its bigger siblings Orion Studio and Goliath), Zen Tour — which began shipping last week — sets itself apart as the ultimate portable recording interface for guitarists. Packing (8) analog inputs and (16) analog outputs into a sharp and slender form factor, Zen Tour is a touring musician’s dream and the ultimate companion for the entire music production process.
Antelope Audio’s hardware-based effects were recently tested by Todd Lombardo. To access the music files, which include Darkface Modern CH3 and several variations on Plexi, please click here: https://soundcloud.com/antelope_audio/sets/antelope-audio-hardware-based
The Ultimate Touring Companion
Since being introduced to Zen Tour and Orion Studio at Summer NAMM, Lombardo has immersed himself in each interface’s capabilities: “I’ve already spent a lot of time with the amp modeling and the EQs on the units, and have since made about 20 presets that I really like,” he says. Aside from the easy set up and access to authentic, vintage sounds, Lombardo says that he is particularly enamoured with the units’ zero latency response: “On competitors’ plug-ins, you end up feeling disconnected as an artist because there is a very short delay that you just don’t get when you are plugged into an amp. This alone makes Antelope’s Zen Tour, Orion Studio and Goliath interfaces stand out, and it is also what makes it feel totally natural and inspiring.”
As a truly versatile device, Zen Tour has become an indispensable tool for Lombardo — whether he is dialing in sounds during the preproduction phase of one of his new projects, or if he feels the need to play loudly through a vintage tube stack — through headphones in his hotel room. “In the studio, it’s great for setting up a vibe quickly — particularly when I am working on a pop country song and need to hone on exactly the right combination of sounds.”
“As a touring musician, there are times and places where I need to be quiet and just not use an amp,” Lombardo adds. “For these times — which might be in a hotel room or on a tour bus — Zen Tour is the perfect accessory because I can acheive a no compromise guitar sound and just use the headphone out on Zen Tour. This kind of thing makes it extremely versatile.”
Unlimited Possibilities for Guitarists
For Lombardo, the emergence of Zen Tour and Orion Studio represent something of a milestone for guitarists. “I had originally thought of Antelope Audio as this awesome audio conversion company, which it is,” he says. “But their foray into portable I/O devices for guitarists has really surprised me. So far, my favorite combination has been using my 1957 Gibson ES-225 and running it through the Plexi Rhythm Saturated preset — it just sounds lovely on a slide guitar. And while I enjoyed all the sounds, I love the versatility of having many different microphone emulations and positions at my disposal.”
Since his relocation to Nashville, Lombardo — who is a GRAMMY nominated songwriter — is finding himself present on more and more major label projects, and demand for his talent is increasing. As an artist, he is pleased to have both the Zen Tour and Orion Studio by his side: “Surely, these are top grade devices suited for professional recordings,” he concludes. “Antelope has come up with something very special for guitarists — and the icing on the cake is that these are absolutely fantastic sounding interfaces with top quality preamps. There are now so many possibilities.”
For more information on Antelope Audio’s entire line of Thunderbolt and USB interfaces, please visit http://antelopeaudio.com/pro-audio-devices/thunderbolt-usb-audio-interface/.